Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Why This Teacher Needs To Go Back To Work

Apparently I've had a lot of free time on my hands to think and observe. That is changing now that school is starting to gear up again. So since I'm sure you have all watched the wedding video enough times to memorize the song, here are some pointless thoughts that have been rolling around in my mind. You are welcome....

1. Around the neighborhood are signs announcing a voluntary water restriction. Isn't that stating the obvious? Why post it if it is voluntary?

2. Standing on the corner with a cardboard sign asking for money is not nearly as effective if you are using your other hand to chow down on some major Chick-fil-a.

3. You have to love new friendships in which one week you are discussing your family tree's various religious backgrounds and the next week you are comparing bad experiences with animal poo.

4. You know that you are too involved with a book when aspects of the plot show up in your subconscious via your dreams.

5. Every town/city should have a coffee place where you can meet a friend and accidentally spend three hours just catching up.

6. Why does using the word "budding" in reference to relationships always sound romantic in nature?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

This Makes Me Smile!

If I were brave, this is how my wedding (Lord willing) would begin. Erin, be thankful! I SO want to be friends with ALL of these people! This is seriously worth watching!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

That's What I Get for Moving

In the past 11 years, have lived in 5 different cities and in some of those places, there were multiple homes. It has given me many blessings but has also brought out a bizarre tidbit for me. As odd as this sounds, I was watching the news tonight expecting the anchors to give San Antonio addresses. I was REALLY confused about which city I am living in. It passed quickly but that was SO strange! Unfortunately, I can't say that this is an isolated event. I have had flashbacks of confusion to San Marcos, Pleasanton, and San Antonio. I never flash to Lubbock but that is because I only lived in the dorm there. If usually happens during the news or if specific songs come on the radio. I wonder if that happens to anyone else. Have you ever felt confused about where you are? Probably not - this is most likely just another one of my weird things.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Houston Project

This week, I was blessed beyond measure to take part in a city wide service project called the Houston Project. There were 1,093 volunteers at 10 different sites throughout the city. My bible class worked with an apartment complex housing Bhutanese refugees as well as about 4 other nationalities. The Bhutanese people came here to escape persecution from the government. The majority of them are Hindu and the conversion process to Christianity is very difficult. There are about five ministers working with this community alone and while progress is being made, there is much ground to cover. That was our goal - to help lay a foundation for these people. Each day, kids came for VBS, games, a meal, and of course, sno cones. While we worked with the kids, there was a team doing evangelism and prayer with adults throughout the complex.

Each night started with a meal and then we would take the little kids to opening assembly for the beginning of VBS while the teens ate and played games. Our group of kids came with very limited English - much more limited than we were anticipating. We sang the same five songs each night - My God is so Big, Lord I Lift Your name on High, I've Got Joy Down in My Heart, Trading My Sorrows, and Every Move I Make (Waves of Mercy). Then, after that, we would present the gospel to them using a felt board presentation to help make it more visual. They loved to sing and with the help of a translator, really started to get a grasp on the story of the gospel.

I worked on the VBS team with 3 - 4 year olds. We had about 3 different languages going on in our group. Thankfully, several moms joined us so we could communicate more effectively. Throughout the week, during songs, memory verses, stories, and just our interaction, my co-teacher and I came to realize that this was as much of an outreach to the mothers as to the children. They soaked up every word, hug, song, and activity. Yesterday was the last night and we were able to give them a bible for their help this week. You would think that we had given them the world! Immediately, they were flipping through them, reading as best they could, and asking questions. They had such kind spirits and eager ears!

A few things really stuck out about this week: Kids are kids are kids no matter the culture or language. Love is truly the universal language that will break down any barrier (even language). Kids go NUTS for bubbles!

But even more than these, it was SO humbling to watch God move! Despite the language barriers, the kids could tell you that God made everything, who Jesus is, and what He did. They were singing about life in Christ. In craft time and with sidewalk chalk, they drew Jesus on the cross and exact replicas of the felt board presentation - AND could tell you about them! They knew memory verses. The mothers were open to joining story groups with the ministers that work in their complex. Children who were afraid of these strangers who spoke a different language were running and hugging us, clinging on until the sun went down.

I cannot wait to go back and start our follow up activities. God is needed here and is making Himself know. This week was to His glory as are the days to come. As we sang each night, I would get choked up on one specific song. I've sung it for years but to see children who have never known God before this week lift up these words, it touched me very deeply because this was the physical manifestation of the lyrics: My God is so Big, so Strong and so Mighty, There's nothing my God cannot do!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Please Vote!

This week I am taking part in an AMAZING service project. I will be telling you all about it and posting pictures on Friday. I would like your preference: Would you rather have a long post of single pictures or a slideshow? Thanks for letting me know!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Hard Pill to Swallow

This morning, I was talking to a friend about some verses that were rolling around in both of our heads. They were hard verses that make us uncomfortable. They are true and Spirit inspired but are difficult to process and apply. They cause us to question but not doubt - make us struggle to know what it means to REALLY live, breathe, and sacrifice for Christ. These verses define a genuine faith.

So I'm curious - what verses are the hard ones for you? Not the ones that make you crazy because people misuse them but the ones that kick you in the gut because of their challenge to your life (their implications). Which verses are an enigma and cause you to almost choke on their meat?

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Blue Three

I'm not a very athletic person (understatement!) so when people say they want to play, my stomach tightens just a hair. I know that I am about to either own my lack of skills or embrace my ability to make everyone else look good. So last night, as we sat around the table at Carinos and the answer to "What are we gonna do next?" came out as "Play!", I just prepared myself. Especially with this group. They are the softball, volleyball group of the world! However, we all had a very late night the night before so something that active was out. It was decided to go to one girls house for Hip Hop Uno.

Now those of you who think you know the game of Uno, do not be deceived. There is a whole new level of Uno that I was introduced to. First, the obvious - the game was played with Hip Hop in the background. Big deal, you may think, but watch out! If you are not immune to the effects of Hip Hop, you will be distracted and will lose track of the game. How do you know if you are easily distracted? Let me ask you this: Do you car dance? Do you secretly want to car dance but are afraid of being seen? Then this will also be your Hip Hop Uno downfall! It took me a while to build up a resistance to the music and would often slip into it as the game progressed. More than one person lost the game this way.

Along with the music, I was playing with real cut throat Uno players. All playfully competitive and very strategic, I learned to play this game with some new skills. The Uno we played as children took on a whole new meaning! As cruel as the dreaded "Draw Four" card can be, we all quickly discovered that a blue three can be just as damaging if you know how to look for it...

So if anyone is up for a game, I'm in!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Just in Case You're Curious.....

Guess what I'm doing this afternoon.....Breaking in my new boots! I'm SO EXCITED!! Since I'm not going on a vacation this summer, I decided to use the money from a math curriculum day to get my very first pair of boots. A friend went with me because Cavendars was having a sale. When the sales guy heard this was my first pair, he asked if I had just moved to Texas. When I said I grew up here, and acted like he was doing me a huge favor by finding me a good pair. He did! Now its time to break them in so I can wear them without killing my feet.

Sometimes it is the littlest things that can bring joy!